After an undercover Chinese reporter documented difficult working conditions on a Foxconn production line for Apple’s next iPhone, the manufacturer has responded with a statement that it is “not perfect” and a promise that it will investigate the allegations.

Days before the unveiling of the new iPhone, the Shanghai Evening Post (via MIC Gadget) sent a reporter to pose as a new worker at Foxconn’s Tai Yuan factory. The journalist went through seven days of training and lasted three days on the line before harsh working conditions became too overwhelming.

According to the report, sleeping in the dormitories was a “nightmare” because of horrible smells, uncleared trash and bug infestations. At the factory, some supervisors allegedly used school-style punishments to threaten workers and kept the workers going non-stop, pressuring them to put in overtime.

In light of the report, Foxconn has said it takes its responsibility to its employees “very seriously” and is working hard to create a beneficial work environment.

“Foxconn is not perfect, but we are making progress everyday and we continue to lead our industry in meeting the needs of the new generation of workers in China. Anything, such as the report in question, that indicates that the high standards set by our company are not being followed is immediately investigated and addressed,” the company said in a statement provided to TNW.

The manufacturer, which is one of Apple’s closest partners but also does work for most of the other major electronics makers, has been under heavy scrutiny this year. Last week, reports emerged that Chinese university students were being sent to Foxconn for required internships that had them working 12 hours a day.

The Fair Labor Association, which Apple commissioned to inspect Foxconn earlier this year found labor violations in its audit, though an updated report praised the company for resolving most of the issues.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has voiced his commitment to holding its supply chain to high standards. In March, he took a tour of a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou while on a business trip throughout China.

Foxconn’s full statement:

Foxconn takes our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we work hard to give our over one million employees in China a safe and positive working environment and compensation and benefits that significantly exceed government-mandated rates and that are competitive with all of our industry peers in each location where we operate. We also work hard together with the local government and third parties to provide housing, dining, recreational and other facilities that meet the needs of our employees and we are committed to a process of continuous improvement in those and other benefits.

We do this to ensure that we continue to attract the best workers in the industry. Foxconn is not perfect, but we are making progress everyday and we continue to lead our industry in meeting the needs of the new generation of workers in China. Anything, such as the report in question, that indicates that the high standards set by our company are not being followed is immediately investigated and addressed.

Update: A Foxconn spokesperson has sent us the following additional comment: “Foxconn takes any allegations against the company very seriously and a full review of the claims made in that article is being carried out.””

Image Credit